Summary

When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car and ends up in a coma, a routine DNA test reveals a connection to a twisted unsolved murder from 22 years before.
Meanwhile, Karen Pirie finds herself irresistibly drawn into another mystery that she has no business investigating; a mystery that has its roots in a terrorist bombing two decades ago. And again, she finds that nothing is as it seems....
©2016 Val McDermid (P)2016 W.F. Howes Ltd
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Critic reviews

"A real page-turner and another McDermid triumph." ( Observer, on The Distant Echo)
"A powerful story of murder and revenge...an exciting page-turner." ( Sunday Telegraph, on The Distant Echo)
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Regular price: £20.89

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Sam Jones on 31-08-16

Great book - brought to life by the narrator

Val McDermid is usually a safe bet for an entertaining read - and this is a good story with well rounded characters. I've chosen to leave a full review here to give a mention to the narrator though. I felt that Cathleen McCarron was brilliant. Her characters were very recognisable and her male voices were good. I felt that she brought great emotion to the job and really brought the story to life for me.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Kirstine on 15-10-16

Slow to start but ultimately satisfying

I like Val McDermid’s books as she write so well, but sometimes shrink from her graphic details of murders. Thankfully this book is devoid of any gruesome descriptions of post mortems and doesn’t spend any time in the the minds of psychopaths relishing their deeds. There’s quite a bit of forensic detail thanks to the author’s close association with the world famous department at Dundee University. I did a FutureLearn course run by that University on forensics in which Val McDermid actively participated. She has also written a book on the topic.

The book meanders for quite a time as two separate stories are introduced, but gathers momentum after about 40 out of 62 chapters. I didn’t mind the slower pace as we got to know the various characters and learn some interesting facts about forensics and the laws relating to privacy. The author indulges her political beliefs over the treatment of Syrian refugees seeking asylum in Scotland: all very laudable but a bit of a diversion that slows the pace of the novel. Par for the course the chief character, DCI Karen Pirie, is a bit of a maverick going off at tangents and getting into trouble with her superiors, but she’s an engaging, sympathetic and at times funny character.

I did enjoy the book and thought the slower pace reflected the more realistic time course of investigations in real life, even if the crimes were unusual.

At first I thought it was to be a four star listen but by the end I thought it rated higher than that as the author carries the two stories forward such that I was keen to find out what happened next as one lead after another seemed promising and then went nowhere.

The narrator is excellent as she creates many different voices making the book seem like a dramatisation.

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22 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By johan on 21-02-18

Great story and AWESOME narrator!

Great story!
Thanks
A bit slow in places though

And awesome narrator!
Kathleen is brilliant

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